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Engaged Scholar

DATE: Monday, February 25, 2019

HCC assistant professor Raúl Gutiérrez selected for new program

Raul Gutierrez

Holyoke Community College assistant professor of Spanish Raúl Gutiérrez has been selected as an "Engaged Scholar" for 2019-2020 by the Eastern Region Campus Compact, a regional partnership of colleges and universities dedicated to promoting civic engagement.

Gutiérrez, who lives in Holyoke, was one of 12 scholars picked for the inaugural, 18-month program that also includes academics from 11 other institutions from Maine to Washington D.C., such as Lehigh University, Ithaca College, Swarthmore, Dartmouth, Georgetown and Yale.  

Scholars were selected from a highly competitive pool of candidates nominated by college and university presidents and chief academic officers.  

"Campus Compact is thrilled to welcome the first cohort of the Eastern Region Engaged Scholars Initiative," said Marisol Morales, vice president for Network Leadership at Campus Compact, the national network. "The interest in the program and the caliber and diversity of all the applicants was extraordinary. The goal of this program is to develop and support equity-minded community engaged scholars and practitioners who can shape the future of this field."  

Gutiérrez  is coordinator of HCC's Foreign Language program, coordinator of the Center for Public Humanities at HCC and adviser to the HCC LISA Club (Latino International Students Association). He also spearheaded the creation of a new LatinX Studies program at the college that will be offered beginning in the Fall 2019 semester and teaches Spanish literacy to migrant farmworkers through Head Start in Springfield.  

"The idea behind the Engaged Scholars program is create a cohort of scholars focused on working in the community," said Gutierrez.   

He said his projects will focus on two areas: building a civic engagement / service learning component into the new Latinx Studies program and continue to work with migrant farmworkers.    

"I want to work with them to create an oral history around their experiences as immigrants and as farm workers, with the end goal of creating a repository somewhere for their stories," he said.  

Gutiérrez was born in Mexico and holds a bachelor's degree in Spanish and a master's degree in Hispanic Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  

He and the 11 other scholars will participate in an 18-month ongoing learning and leadership process that includes professional development, collaboration and scholarship to help the individual participants and the cohort strengthen their scholarship, research and impact. Scholars will participate in in-person and online learning opportunities, including retreats, regular meetings, and the Eastern Region Campus Compact Conference March 25-27 in Providence, Rhode Island.  

The Campus Compact is a national coalition of 1,000 colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education. As the only national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, Campus Compact enables campuses to develop student's citizenship skills and forge effective community partnerships. Eastern Region Campus Compact (ERCC) is a partnership comprised of state and multi-state Compacts serving Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. The Compacts that make up ERCC collaborate on member services and opportunities regionally. 

PHOTO of Raúl Gutiérrez by CHRIS YURKO